Mode Aviation
Reference No. AR201300023
Date reported 27 March 2013
Concern title Falsification of maintenance records
Concern summary

The concern related to the direction by the operator to their pilots to falsify maintenance records for the aircraft. The reporter advised that they had been asked to falsify the maintenance release by significantly under-recording the hours they actually flew.

Industry / Operation affected Aviation: General aviation
Concern subject type Aviation: Maintenance

Reporter's concern

The reporter expressed a safety concern regarding the maintenance of the two Cessna 182s operated by the operator. The reporter stated that when they were rostered to fly for the organisation, they were asked to falsify the maintenance release by significantly under-recording the hours they were actually flying.

The reporter is also concerned that the aircraft are not being maintained to the appropriate standard.

The reporter stated that the following concerns were observed:

  • The engine leaks an abnormal amount of oil
  • The pilot seat is difficult to lock in place after adjusting
  • The altimeter and tacho are often erroneous
  • The upward opening door for parachutists to exit is difficult to secure closed using the locking pin.

Operator's response (Operator 1)

We only employ Commercial Pilots to fly these aircraft and have concerns that this pilot has breached their obligations to report safety concerns to me and to act appropriately to ensure the safety of other pilots and passengers. I have investigated the claims made by this pilot and have concluded that they are baseless.

We have contacted our mechanic to investigate any oil leaks in theses aeroplanes. It was concluded that there was no evidence of any oil leaks. We have asked other pilots if there have been any issues with the seat, all of whom stated that they have had no problems locking the seat in.

The door can be difficult to use by pilots who have done limited hours on the craft, though no concerns have been voiced by my experienced pilots. We will endeavour to do more training on this aircraft for anyone that feels they need it. Also, as these aircraft are flown in controlled air space, the altimeter is checked on each flight. I believe that if the altimeter was incorrect or malfunctioning, this would be identified as we enter controlled air space. There have been no complaints by other pilot voicing concerns about the accuracy of the tacho.

Regulator's response (Regulator 1)

CASA has reviewed the matters raised in the REPCON and advises that surveillance was conducted at the airport which identified an aircraft as undergoing maintenance. The defects reported on the REPCON were not evident on that aircraft as they had been rectified during the maintenance.

CASA notes that the reporter refers to two aircraft, however only one aircraft is identified in the report.

ATSB comment

After REPCON questioned CASA as to whether they had discussed the falsification of the maintenance records with the operator, CASA conducted further enquires. They formed the preliminary view that the defects had not been endorsed on the maintenance release when they should have been and these matters were going to be examined further.

Last update 24 March 2014